How much of the world’s population lives in urban areas?
What do cities look like and how are they connected?
Does city life change the way we interact with each other?
What does community look like in an urban world?
This is a good time to study cities, because they are taking over the world. Cities have
been around for more than 5,000 years, but they used to look very different than they do
today. Ancient cities were often the capitals of empires and centers for trade, surrounded by
walls and protected from the outside. The modern city dates back only a couple hundred
years. When the factory first emerged in Britain in the 1700s, people began to move from rural
areas to the nation’s industrial cities. The process of urbanization, defined by growth in the
proportion of a nation’s population that lives in cities, spread from Britain to the rest of Europe,
then to the United States, then to much of the rest of the world.